Passionate fans, Carlos queries and jabs at journalists: Five hours with Sheffield Wednesday owner Dejphon Chansiri

It was long and it was winding. Those who made it to the end left exhausted. Those who didn’t make it to the end may well have left exhausted, too.
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After a week that saw a promotion-winning manager and his staff leave the club three just weeks on from a last-gasp Wembley win - leaving Sheffield Wednesday back at the well searching for a replacement less than a fortnight ahead of the players’ return to pre-season - his message was one of calm. “It’s normal football business,” he said.

In one of a number of sharp and pointy criticisms of media both national and local, Mr Chansiri made clear he doesn’t like opinion pieces. With that in mind and as an act of goodwill after he supplied an outstanding pie and pea supper a sizeable charity donation and an evening of good times, we’ll do our best to leave opinion at the door on this occasion.

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What was clear watching the evening from the sidelines is that fan opinion over Chansiri, Moore and the direction of Sheffield Wednesday is split. An evening such as Tuesday is always a finer gauge than social media and after the first speaker spoke passionately only to thank Chansiri for his vast financial commitment to the club, it drew a round of applause.

There were words of thanks and rounds of applause sprinkled in amongst the questions all evening.

Other interactions - more frequent than those of praise it has to be said - were a little more tense, a little more fraught, one supporter calling the club’s season ticket pricing structure ‘disgusting’ before being met with an explanation that the revenue made on matchdays was much-needed. To truly give promotion to the Premier League a go, he said, increased financial assistance from the fan base will help. He described the need for outside investment. Generating revenue, Chansiri said, is key.

Another claimed Wednesday had once again been thrown into ‘laughing stock’ territory after the highs of the last month or so saw them jump back into the national consciousness for all the right reasons. Chansiri and one audience member made it known they felt the departure of Moore - and other stories throughout the season - had been unfairly reported in the media.

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Those hoping for an explanation around the circumstances around Moore left disappointed as Chansiri claimed he had made a promise to the now former Owls boss not to speak too much about specific reasons. With Moore choosing to keep his counsel when contacted by The Star this morning, quite what the Thai businessman was referring to remains locked in mystery and speculation.

A pledge to lower the price of season tickets to £400 if the club can sell 30,000 of them left audience members and assembled journalists - invited on a watching brief, not to ask questions - doing the maths as to whether the numbers were feasible given the stadium’s capacity.

One audience member questioned Chansiri’s choice of words when describing the club’s fans, suggesting it was overly negative. The Owls chief made clear he was talking about a minority he feels are overly negative towards him. Some he said, stressing the word minority, are even out to damage the club. He made clear PR wasn’t a priority.

What did we get out of it? Carlos Carvalhal won’t be coming back, David Downes left his recruitment role for personal reasons, a new manager ‘that hopefully you won’t have to Google’ will be in situ ahead of the season proper - along with a full squad - and that a play-off campaign is next season’s ambition.

‘S’all good’ seemed to be the message.

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Fans had suggested the evening might have been cancelled given it came 25 hours after Moore’s departure. That was never going to happen.

For everything he attracted criticism for on the night, one thing you definitely can’t accuse Dejphon Chansiri of is hiding away.

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